According to recent reports, women make up only five per cent of entrepreneurs in the technology industry. Women-owned businesses in other industries tend to grow more slowly and less substantially than their male counterparts. To maintain their competitive edge, the ecosystems that nourish startups in Canada and beyond must focus on gender inclusivity. To solve this problem, the co-ordinators of the new Lead to Win for Women program hope to balance the scales for women entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region.
Launching this fall, the program will offer mentorship, resources and a network of successful entrepreneurs with the aim of fostering more women-led startups. It will support growth-focused firms that aspire to expand in size and revenue. The program is open to all forms of women-owned firms, from technology startups to manufacturing and food businesses.
The program incorporates an intensive six-day boot camp that is open to all founders, both men and women. The boot camp will help participating firms solidify and strengthen their business strategies. Boot camp participants ultimately pitch their ideas to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs. The boot camp takes place Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 22-24, 2011.
“The business training I received during the boot camp was invaluable,” said Katie Hyrcak, founder of Commentair Technologies Inc. and a Carleton graduate. “In the end you have a solid network of extremely intelligent individuals who all went through the same gruelling process as you, and the support that comes with that.”
“The program’s informal setting encouraged an open exchange of information that I was then able to apply to my own business ventures,” said Elizabeth Lance, CEO of the Ingenuity Group and a past-participant of the Lead to Win program. “Regardless of your field of expertise, everyone can take something away from the program.”
Applications for the boot camp are being accepted until Oct. 10, 2011. For more information or to apply, please visit: http://ltw-women.ca/
About Lead to Win:
The Lead to Win program mentors business startups, generates jobs and provides investment for the cash-strapped technology sector. Founded by Carleton’s Tony Bailetti in 2002, the program is offered in various locations. It receives financial support from the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Talent First Network, NRC IRAP among others.
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